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A Near Intervention

Raese crooked his wrist again and the staff vanished in a billow of green flakes.

They straightened their overcoats and stepped back through the doorway as Chavias emerged.

Catching him by the arm, Deragan turned him murmuring words Bast couldn’t hear.

Telling him to go back in, likely.

Chavias twisted and glimpsed the red-eyed creature atop the shattered coach. “Bloody Hell!” He muttered over his shoulder as they drug him back in.

They’ll keep anyone else from coming out. Bast had thought.

Leaning over, he’d collected something from the floorboards before stepping from the coach. Giving the women his back, he ignored the bony wing protruding from the window near his head. He’d cracked the door and squeezed through the slight space. She hissed warningly.

He’d taken two steps when he’d heard the rising voice of the quiet one. “The pendant! You dropped it!”

Glancing over his shoulder he’d watched the coach rattle from the furious shaking of the creature within. In moments, the boards splintered and shattered, projecting wooden fragments as it exploded. Bursting from the chaos, her red eyes burned in the dark.

She landed barefoot on the remnants of the coach roof. Clawed feet gripping the splintering wood with a crunch. Ruby eyes glittering in the dark. She held out her hand for the pendant. A superior lift to her chin as she glared down her nose at him.

He’d given her a bored look, jaw ticking. His shrug made it clear he’d no intention of handing it over.

She shot into the air. A dark blur cutting the sky before plummeting in a calculated dive.

He’d stared at her. Considering going back in.

If I do, she’ll barge in exposing all immortals.

I think not.

So, he’d made no move as she drew near enough wind hissed over her wings like sails slapping. The energy of her fury clenched his stomach, forcing his muscles tight. Instinctively ready to fight, he felt no inkling of fear.

She caught him in a taloned grip. Lifting his limp body. Her grip slipped so she tossed him like a dog with prey. Catching him by his arms in a better grip. What remained of his shirt rent as her claws embedded in his flesh.

Ouch. Bast winced at the mere memory.

Gritting his teeth, he willed his body not to react. Don’t change.

Drawing from his training over the years, he forced himself passive. Eying the creature carrying him into the night.

She shook her black mane like a bird settling ruffled feathers. Glowering down at him, her eyes completely red. Absent any white.

A horrific sight to behold.

Less than an hour before, she’d been lovely to look on.

She tossed him once more.

Trying to intimidate me. An inhuman growl rumbled from his throat.

The woman-bird glanced down at him, surprised he was capable of such a noise. Tightening her grip, she pierced those claws deeper into his arms and shoulders. One hooking painfully under a shoulder blade.

Is she trying to sever my heart?

He allowed her the flight. Where’s she taking me?

The further she goes the better this will go.

Why was she after the pendant? Where did she come from? His mind worked fervently. Then anger set in.

She dared steal from me? Not only had she the tenacity to steal from him but to fly away from a LandingTown Ballroom with him.

And now she’s got her claws in me. His lip curled, he continued working to control his irritation.

They’d long since passed over the villages bordering LandingTown, Crystal Lake and River City. Now they were heading over deep Warwood.

Likely to pass over Rosewynn Manor, the Captain's home soon. Sebastian recognized the country well. Good.

He let her fly a bit further. Knowing that he'd need her to veer sharply East to go where he intended her to.

I'll have to guide her.

High over the needle trees, he glimpsed moonlight shining on the clearing outside Meadowbrook Grier where the Manor was located.

Checking her thoughts, he found she intended to fly him far enough from the city no one would hear him screaming.

She plans to kill me.

Easier intended then accomplished. His lip curled and a low snarl rippled up his throat. The annoyance of his beast at playing prey so long.

I’m growing bored with playing your toy. Bast thought. Knowing Alazar would've said it was his alpha male instinct rearing his head.

“Enough. Cease toying with me.”

She looked down at him, black hair falling about her face as she sneered. “You’re a captive, great lord. I suggest you cease your tongue.” Her angry voice ripped through his mind. Leaving a wake of discomfort. It was a dark hiss. Though he was sure it could invoke terror it was still somehow infinitely feminine.

What an interesting array of contradictions you are. Contradictions he’d enjoy plucking apart.

I’ve been bored for so long... And though he would’ve denied it, he had become lonely.

He laughed at himself. He, Sebastian Bodane, lonely.

But it was true. A bone-deep kind of loneliness only broken by the need of the other Forever Knights.

His brethren had told him to take a mate. Plenty of women are willing but they’re so...mundane. It was cruel to admit.

Now this...He looked at her lovely underside. She is something…else. Fascinating...

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